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FAQs

Updated September 28, 2020

Hiring

Do we need to have a tenure-track line we're hiring for in the foreseeable future in order to hire a Riley Scholar?

Not anymore. To secure a Riley Scholar, your department or program only needs to communicate your interest in and commitment to supporting a Riley Scholar as they seek to gain meaningful experience in teaching undergraduates in a liberal arts educational setting, complete their dissertation or cultivate their postdoctoral research, and enter the academic job market. You must also communicate your interest in and commitment to developing your department or program's mentoring skills, diversifying your faculty, enhancing course offerings, and improving departmental or programmatic climate.

How do we request a Riley Scholar? When are those requests approved?

A representative from your department or program (not necessarily the Chair or Director) must attend an information meeting about the program during Block 4, and proposals are due at the end of Block 5. More information can be found by clicking here.

If our request for a Riley Scholar is approved, should we advertise the position?

No. Riley Scholars must be hired through the Consortium for Faculty Diversity database (hosted by Interfolio).

Can we review the database before requesting a Riley Scholar to ensure there are candidates in our field?

Yes. Please contact the Director of the Riley Scholars-in-Residence Program for information about logging into Interfolio to review candidates in your field.

What if we can't find a Riley Scholar in our field through the Consortium for Faculty Diversity? Can we hire a Riley Scholar through other means?

No. If the Consortium for Faculty Diversity database does not satisfy your department or program needs, you may certainly hire a faculty member through other available means. However, they would not be a Riley Scholar. For more specific information about hiring possibilities outside the Consortium for Faculty Diversity and the Riley Scholars Program, contact the Dean of the Faculty.

Additionally, we welcome you to share information about the Consortium for Faculty Diversity with your networks. If you would like information on what kind of information to share along these lines, including specific language, contact the Director of the Riley Scholars-in-Residence Program.

If we hire a tenure-track faculty member, can they receive a postdoctoral Riley Scholar fellowship to secure a reduced teaching and service load?

No. If a candidate was not hired through the Consortium for Faculty Diversity, they will not be considered a Riley Scholar. To learn about the possibility of tenure-track faculty receiving reduced teaching and service loads or other considerations, contact the Dean of the Faculty.

In what ways is the process for hiring a Riley Scholar different from and/or similar to typical faculty hires?

Hiring a Riley Scholar is arguably different from hiring tenure-track faculty in more ways than it is similar. For example, if your proposal (due at the end of Block 5) is approved by the Dean of the Faculty, your hiring committee should log into Interfolio and review application materials for all fellows in your field with some exceptions. For example, you are welcome to only review materials for postdoctoral fellows if your department or program does not have the capacity to mentor a predoctoral fellow. In any case, you may conduct phone interviews with however many of those applicants you would like. However, you should only invite one to the college for an on-campus interview.

This is where the similarities to tenure-track faculty hires begin. During the on-campus interview, you would schedule a job talk, a teaching demonstration (if you typically schedule those for tenure-track candidates), and meetings with necessary and/or required faculty, students, and staff, for example. After the on-campus interview, if your department or program is interested in extending an offer to the candidate, email the Dean of the Faculty to receive further instructions.

What is the Riley Scholar's official job title?

The official title for predoctoral Riley Scholars is Predoctoral Riley Scholar-in-Residence in [Department or Program]. The official title for postdoctoral Riley Scholars is Visiting Assistant Professor of [Department or Program].

Is every Riley Scholar guaranteed a second year, if they want to stay on?

No. Whether or not a second year is extended depends on the Riley Scholar's willingness to stay on along with the needs and abilities of the host department or program and the college. If the Riley Scholar desires a second year, we recommend they communicate that to the department chair or program director no sooner or later than the end of the fall semester, with the understanding that there are no guarantees. On that note, if your department or program would like to extend a second year to the Riley Scholar, the department chair or program director should contact the Senior Associate Dean of Equity, Inclusion & Faculty Development, by the end of Block 5 for further instructions with the understanding that the Dean of Faculty is responsible for deciding the allocation of Riley Scholars. More information can be found by clicking here.

Can a predoctoral Riley Scholar receive a second year if they do not complete their dissertation?

Not typically. However, if unique cases should be considered, those considerations should be directed to the Dean of Faculty. Additionally, more information about submitting proposals to extend one-year fellowships for any Riley Scholar can be found by clicking here.

Mentoring

Who in the department or program should mentor the Riley Scholar, the chair or director?

Due to time constraints, the department chair or program director should not typically act as the Riley Scholar mentor. However, the chair or director will, of course, participate in the mentoring process to some degree due to the nature of their role. Any possible adjustments to this policy should be discussed with and must be approved by the Senior Associate Dean of Equity, Inclusion & Faculty Development, and the department chair or program director should facilitate conversations along these lines.

When does the department or program need to have a mentor selected?

Ideally, willing and able mentors within the department or program will be listed at the time the proposals requesting Riley Scholars are submitted in Block 6. This will help facilitate effective transitions for Riley Scholars as early as possible, beginning when they are officially hired. An official department or program mentor should be identified no later than the first day of the academic year so mentoring can begin in Block 1.

How much mentoring are we expected to provide Riley Scholars?

Every department or program must designate a faculty member as the Riley Scholars Mentor. Department or program mentors will engage in a training at the start of Block 2 and have a check-in meeting at the start of Block 4. The mentor is expected to schedule 1:1 45-minute mentoring meetings with the Riley Scholar each block excepting Block 3 and Block J. During Block 3, the expectation is that at least one member of your department or program, which can include the mentor, will attend the Riley Scholar's Mock Job Talk to support the scholar, ask questions, and address concerns about their work that they would likely face on the academic job market. Mentors can serve for 1 or 2 academic years. If a Riley Scholar continues for a second year, mentors can choose to serve in the second year or request that the department or program find a different department or program colleague to serve. Returning mentors are still expected to attend the training and check-in meetings in their second year.

How should we construct mentoring sessions?

Each Department/Program Mentor will attend a training session during Block 2, even if the mentor has previous experience mentoring within or outside the Riley Scholars-in-Residence Program. As you are expected to schedule a 1:1 45-minute mentoring meeting with the Riley Scholar in Block 1, consider using this time to get to know the scholar better and addressing any questions and/or concerns they may have, and giving them pertinent information about the college and your department or program.

What other mentoring will Riley Scholars receive at the college?

The Director of the Riley Scholars-in-Residence Program, will schedule 45-minute 1:1 meetings with Riley Scholars during Blocks 1, 4, 5, and 7. In Blocks 2 and 6, they will schedule 60-minute collective mentoring meetings with the entire Riley Scholars cohort during which the Senior Associate Dean of Equity, Inclusion & Faculty Development will attend for the first 15 minutes. During Block 3, the Program Director will attend the Riley Scholars' Mock Job Talks, and during Block 8, they will schedule 60-minute 1:1 exit interviews with each Riley Scholar (even those who will be returning or who are completing their second year) to discuss their experiences.

Riley Scholars are expected to schedule a meeting with two former Riley Scholars currently employed at Colorado College-one during the fall semester and another during the spring. Finally, Riley Scholars are also expected to engage in faculty development opportunities provided by the Crown and Colket Centers.

Who do I talk to if the Riley Scholar has concerns about colleagues within or outside our department or program?

The Dean of Faculty will help facilitate prudent and meaningful conversations with any involved parties, whenever necessary. Even if any or all parties involved think the concerns can be addressed and navigated without the inclusion of the administration, the Dean of Faculty should be informed.

Who do I talk to if our Riley Scholar is having concerns about the academic job market?

The department or program mentor may recommend the Riley Scholar speak with other faculty in the department or program to seek support along these lines. Additionally, the mentor may recommend the Riley Scholar speak with the Director of the Riley Scholars-in-Residence Program.

Teaching and Advising

How much teaching support should we provide Riley Scholars?

We recommend department or program mentors or other faculty members in the department or program observe both courses taught by predoctoral Riley Scholars and at least two of the three courses taught by postdoctoral Riley Scholars. This should be the case even if a Riley Scholar is in their second year. So as not to overwhelm the scholar and given the intensity of the Block Plan, no more than one faculty member should observe any class, and no more than one observation should occur in any block. Additionally, we recommend department or program mentors review syllabi and any other pertinent teaching materials, such as rubrics, at least one block prior to when the scholar is scheduled to teach, even if they are in their second year. It would also be useful for department or program colleagues to share syllabi with the Riley Scholar at the start of the academic year to give the scholars a sense of Block Plan teaching and learning. This is not necessary but is encouraged for Riley Scholars in their second year.

Finally, we recommend Riley Scholars observe at least one course taught by a faculty member in their department or program and another taught by a faculty member outside their department or program during the year. This should be the case even if a Riley Scholar is in their second year. If the Riley Scholar needs support facilitating this within the department or program, we recommend they contact their department or program mentor. If they need support facilitating this outside their department or program, we recommend they contact the Director of the Riley Scholars-in-Residence Program.

How much teaching support will fellows receive from the Riley Scholars-in-Residence Program?

Since both courses taught by predoctoral fellows and two of the three courses taught by postdoctoral fellows will be observed by members of their department or program, we do not require any other observations. Still, Riley Scholars are welcome to invite the Director of the Riley Scholars-in-Residence Program, to observe any one of their classes. However, so as not to overwhelm them and given the intensity of the Block Plan, we do not recommend they have more than one observer in any given class.

Additionally, we recommend Riley Scholars observe at least one course taught by a faculty member in their department or program and another taught by a faculty member outside their department or program during the year. This should be the case even if the scholar is in their second year. If they need support facilitating this within their department or program, we recommend they contact their department or program mentor. If they need support facilitating this outside their department or program, we recommend they contact the Director of the Riley Scholars-in-Residence Program.

Should the Riley Scholar participate in conversations about their teaching load and teaching schedule?

Yes. While scheduling needs for departments and programs vary, impacting the extent to which any faculty member can determine the blocks in which they teach, the Riley Scholar should participate in those conversations to the extent possible since special consideration should be paid to their needs concerning the completion of their dissertation or their postdoctoral research progress and job market timelines in their field.

Can a predoctoral Riley Scholar teach more than two courses?

No. However, adjustments may be considered if your department or program needs a Riley Scholar to teach adjunct courses or courses that are less than 1 unit. If this is the case, those adjustments may be considered by the Dean of Faculty.

Can a postdoctoral Riley Scholar teach more than three courses?

No. However, adjustments may be considered if your department or program needs you to teach adjunct courses or courses that are less than 1 unit. If this is the case, those adjustments may be considered by the Dean of Faculty.

Can the Riley Scholar team teach courses with other faculty within or outside the department or program?

This may be approved in certain cases depending on various factors that should be discussed with the Dean of Faculty prior to the department chair or program director submitting their department or program's course grid for the forthcoming academic year.

Can the Riley Scholar teach two-block courses?

This may be approved in certain cases depending on various factors that should be discussed with the Dean of Faculty prior to the department chair or program director submitting their department or program's course grid for the forthcoming academic year.

Can the Riley Scholar teach adjunct courses?

This may be approved in certain cases depending on various factors that should be discussed with the Dean of Faculty prior to the department chair or program director submitting their department or program's course grid for the forthcoming academic year.

Should a Riley Scholar be advising students or student groups?

Not typically. However, adjustments may be considered by the Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Life in consultation with the Dean of Faculty.

Who do I talk to if there are concerns about our Riley Scholar's teaching?

If you learn about concerns from students or colleagues, address the concerns with the Riley Scholar. Additionally, the Senior Associate Dean of Equity, Inclusion & Faculty Development, should be informed, as they can help facilitate prudent and meaningful conversations with any involved parties whenever appropriate and necessary. If you learn of any concerns from the Riley Scholar, inform the Senior Associate Dean of Equity, Inclusion & Faculty Development and the Director of the Riley Scholars-in-Residence Program.

Scholarship

How much support should we provide Riley Scholars with the completion of their dissertation or postdoctoral research?

For predoctoral fellows, we recommend the department or program mentor read and give feedback on at least one chapter of the dissertation in the fall semester and another during the spring. We also recommend the scholar share with the mentor pertinent feedback they received from the dissertation committee whenever necessary and appropriate so the mentor can consider it carefully when providing feedback. So as not to overwhelm the scholars, considering their Mock Job Talks in Block 3, we do not recommend departments or programs feature them as speakers during any additional events that showcase colleagues' scholarship. Additionally, we do require at least one department or program colleague attend the scholar's Mock Job Talk to support them, ask questions, and address concerns about their work they would likely face on the academic job market.

For postdoctoral fellows, we recommend the department or program mentor read and give feedback on at least one piece of their scholarship (preferably one that will be or is currently being peer-reviewed) during the year. Additionally, we recommend they share with the mentor feedback the have received on the piece (if any) whenever necessary and appropriate so the mentor can consider it carefully when providing feedback. We also encourage the department or program to feature the Riley Scholar as a speaker during any additional events that showcase colleagues' scholarship. Finally, we do require at least one department or program colleague to attend their Mock Job Talk to support them, ask questions, and address concerns about their work they would likely face on the academic job market.

How much support will the Riley Scholars receive with the completion of their dissertation or postdoctoral research from the Riley Scholars-in-Residence Program?

Keep in mind, the Director of the Riley Scholars-in-Residence Program, is not likely to be a member of the Riley Scholars' academic fields, so we recommend the scholars carefully consider the Director's feedback alongside feedback from members of their dissertation committee, members of their academic field(s), and/or colleagues in the department or program at Colorado College. Further, while the Director of the Riley Scholars-in-Residence Program will not be requesting to read their work, they may be available to do so with advance notice from the Riley Scholar, and will be requesting specific information about their progress throughout the year.

Who do I talk to if our Riley Scholar is struggling to complete their dissertation or conduct their postdoctoral research?

Direct these concerns to both the Senior Associate Dean of Equity, Inclusion & Faculty Development and the Director of the Riley Scholars-in-Residence Program.

Service

Should we invite the Riley Scholar to department or program meetings?

No, because the Riley Scholars-in-Residence Program is designed to support fellows in working on their scholarship and bolstering their teaching skills. Department and program meeting attendance is service work they should not spend time on during their participation in the program.

Should a Riley Scholar serve on all-college or department or program committees?

No, because the Riley Scholars-in-Residence Program is designed to support fellows in working on their scholarship and bolstering their teaching skills. Committee work is service they should not spend time on during their participation in the program.

To which departmental or programmatic events should we invite Riley Scholars?

We recommend you invite the Riley Scholar to events like those that feature guest speakers, feature students presenting their research, or celebrate graduates, for example, as these opportunities will allow them to build and maintain community. If you need clarification, contact the Senior Associate Dean of Equity, Inclusion & Faculty Development.

Should Riley Scholars attend the all-faculty meetings?

Not typically for the sake of prudence and equity, especially considering their non-tenure track status. However, if there are special cases the scholar and/or your department or program would like to be considered, those considerations should be directed to the Senior Associate Dean of Equity, Inclusion & Faculty Development. If any necessary adjustments are made to this policy, please also inform the Director of the Riley Scholars-in-Residence Program.

Employment and Compensation

Do Riley Scholars receive benefits like health insurance or retirement contributions?

According to Human Resources, "Most benefits are effective on the first calendar day of the month once applicable waiting periods have been satisfied. New benefits-eligible employees hired on the first calendar day or first business day of the month will be eligible for coverage on their hire date. Employees hired on any other day of the month will be eligible for coverage on the first calendar day of the following month." For more specific information, visit their website by clicking here or contact their office directly.

Do Riley Scholars receive start-up funds, moving stipends, or similar economic support?

Riley Scholars receive economic support similar to that received by new tenure-track faculty, such as a moving stipend and start-up funds. For more specific information, contact the Dean of Faculty.

Should Riley Scholars receive support from the department or program and/or college or divisional committees for conference travel and/or other research and teaching-related needs?

Typically yes. For more specific information, contact the Dean of Faculty.

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